Film Evaluation Guideline (Ch. 2)

After you view “Field of Dreams,” (and/or the 50 years of film assignment) address the following sections, and load your reflections onto your personal film blog by the due date (SEPT. 15, 11:59 PM for “Field of Dreams” & September 22. 11:59 pm for “50-Years of Film”). maxresdefault

The grading rubric is available here blake-snyder-evaluation-rubric

*When dissecting Field of Dreams (800 -100 words) and/or the 50 years of film (600-800 words) – use the following outline to help you answer key questions about the film.  There is no particular review-writing format required at this particular time;  just make sure you’re able to address the sections:

Part I – Reflections and Interpretations:

  1. Describe the story – summary (synopsis). Don’t tell everything. Offer the highlights and overview only. Brevity is key here; capture the synopsis of the film, not each scene. Try to keep this to a paragraph. That may be tougher than you think.
  2. Don’t forget to mention the inciting incident somewhere in your summary.kevin-costner_field-of-dreams-0111
  3. What was the story question?
  4. What approach does the author take –what genre (Comedy, Drama, Action, Family, Animation, Adventure, etc.) – or is it a combination of several? Explain why you feel this way?
  5. Does the story seek to entertain or is there a deeper meaning (or both)? If there is a deeper meaning, what is the message? Did the story feel complete?

  6. Why is this story considered worthy of award recognition?

  7. Did the film follow the Freytag Pyramid Story Structure?
  8. Blake Snyder identifies this story genre as ‘Out of the Bottle.’ Defined that as the proper story-genre for “Field of Dreams” or defend that it can be in another category.
  9. Discuss the impact of the characters.
  10. What literary hero best represents the protagonist(s)?field-of-dreams-movie-clip-screenshot-is-this-heaven_large
  11. Think about character arc when evaluating.
  12. Where the characters round? Flat? Dynamic? Static?

Part II – Author’s intent and focus. Which one of the following was the most important aspect for you? Why? (Sometimes there may be more than one). 

  1. Focus on Plot – the Story.
  2. Focus on Emotional effect or mood (does the story seek mainly to convey or elicit emotions – sadness, joy, anger).
  3. Focus on Character.
  4. Focus on style or Texture – (unique style in writing or conveying mood, overly figurative language, is it written to convey language of a certain time or place, strong symbolism, etc.).
  5. Focus on ideas – (the story tries to convey a moral or social statement or message. Human nature, coming of age stories, human relationships, politics). These stories are meant to leave a lasting impression.

    Kevin Costner And Gaby Hoffmann In 'Field Of Dreams'
    Kevin Costner holding Gaby Hoffmann in a scene from the film ‘Field Of Dreams’, 1989. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)


Part III – Explore the Character Conflicts – examine why they are important

(All stories have a character conflict – it is this conflict that should drive the story)

  1. Man vs. Man (Characters against characters)
  2. Man vs. Nature (do characters faces storms, earthquakes, tornados, natural disasters, etc?).
  3. Man vs. Himself (internal battles & struggles with one’s feelings, desires, physical or mental limitations, etc).
  4. Man vs. Society (battles with culture, education, politics).
  5. Man vs. The Unknown or Supernatural (any unknown future, enemy, situation, feelings, etc.).
  6. Man vs. God/Religion (battles and struggles with one’s understanding and/or relationship to religion, God and/or figures representing religion).
  7. Man vs. Machine (or technology) – (when mankind battles the power of technology and that results in machine taking on or taking over for man).


Part IV – Personal Response and Recommendations (combines reflections and interpretations with ‘how the movie made you feel’)

  1. What are the weakest and strongest points to the story?field-of-dreams
  2. Does the story succeed or fail? Why do you think so? (Did it make you laugh? Did it make you cry? Did it scare you?)
  1. What are your overall personal reactions to the story (if you haven’t already answered this above)?
  2. Who is this story’s appropriate audience (families, children, adults, men, women, college educated, foreign culture, etc.)?
  3. If you gave it a report card grade –what would that grade be? Make sure the grade matches your evaluation.

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